Waiting May Reduce Need for Back Surgery

New studies demonstrate that waiting may be the best alternative to back surgery. Approximately 1.5 million back surgeries are performed worldwide. These surgeries are performed to address painful problems associated with slipped or misaligned disks. Intransient sciatica and other lower back conditions are extremely painful and can impact the quality of life of those afflicted. New research though suggests that 75% of such cases will improve on their own if left untreated.

Doctors at the Leiden Medial Center in the Netherlands conducted a study that included 283 people suffering from long-term back problems. Surprisingly, 95% of the patients reported that their condition improved whether or not they actually underwent surgery. Another study at was conducted at Dartmouth Medical School.

This study examined 303 patients who suffered from spinal degeneration. This condition allows a disc to slip out of alignment and press on nerves which in turn can cause pain, numbness and even immobility. 130 of the original group chose not to undergo surgery. Of this group 75% of the patients did not need surgery two years after the initiation of the study. With difficult or intransient pain and movement problems, back surgery may be a necessary solution.

Today new technologies are coming to the market that offers effective non-surgical alternatives to treating back and spine problems. These new techniques, such as spinal decompression, may be an workable alternative without the risks associated with surgery. Back surgery in some states, (e.g. Pennsylvania) is considered a relatively high risk procedure resulting in prohibitively expensive malpractice insurance.

Other alternatives treatments that have proven to be effective in treating back pain and restoring movement functionality. Such treatments include chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture and massage. Time with gentle alternatives is often the right prescription to allow the body to find its own path to healing.


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